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July petroleum demand at three year high

Hydrocarbon Engineering,

Total US petroleum deliveries (a measure of demand) increased by 1.7% from July 2012 to average 18.9 million bpd last month, the highest July level in the last three years.

According to API Chief Economist, John Felmy, ‘the summer travel season brought greater demand for several fuel types last month than we’ve seen in recent years. On the supply side, we produced more domestic crude last month than at any other point in the last 22 years’.

Gasoline demand rose 2.2% from July 2012 to average 9.0 million bpd, the second lowest July level in 13 years. Demand for jet fuel rose 2.3% to a 4 year July high, and distillate deliveries increased by 8.0% to reach the highest July level in 6 years. Demand for ‘other oils’ rose 0.4% from year ago levels, while deliveries of residual fuel decreased 35.7% from last year to a record low of 269 000 bpd.

Refinery gross inputs rose 2.4% in July 2013 to 16.4 million bpd. This was only the second time above 16.0 million bpd since August 2011, and the highest level in 8 years.

Exports of refined petroleum products averaged 3.4 million bpd in July, an increase of 6.3% over the last year and 11.1% compared with the previous month.

Gasoline production remained robust, up 0.4% from June and 4.2% from July 2012 to nearly 9.3 million bpd. Production of distillate fuel topped 5.0 million bpd for the first time ever, setting a record at nearly 5.1 million bpd. This level represents a 5.1% increase from June and was 8.4% higher than July 2012.

Domestic crude oil production rose 17.4% from July 2012, averaging a 25 year July high of nearly 7.5 million bpd. This was above 7.0 million bpd for the ninth consecutive month and the highest output of any month in the last 22 years.

According to recent reports from Baker-Hughes, Inc., the number of oil and gas rigs in the US in July was 1766, up from June’s count of 1761.

Crude oil stocks fell 3.2% in July from June and 0.8% from 2012. Crude stocks finished July at an 11 month low of 366.8 million bpd, although this is the second highest inventory level for the month in 23 years.

Stocks of motor gasoline rose 8.0% from last year to 226.2 million bbls. Distillate fuel oil stocks ended at 126.3 million bbls, down 0.2% from last year.

US total imports fell in July to below 10.0 million bpd for the fourth time this year. Total imports declined 9.6% from the prior year to an average of 9.7 million bpd, equal to an 18 year low for the month.

With record crude production and crude inventory levels, crude imports in July fell to their lowest levels in 17 years. The drop to 7.7 million bpd represented a 10.5% decline from July 2012.

Imports of refined products decreased by 6.0% from July 2012 to an average of 2.0 million bpd.

Refinery capacity utilisation rate averaged 91.8% in July, up 1.6% from June and down 1.0% from July 2012. API’s latest refinery operable capacity was 17.820 million bpd, up to 3.4% from last year’s capacity of 17.230 million bpd.

Adapted from a press release by Emma McAleavey.

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